Watching a soccer match for me is a lot like watching Apocalypse Now. In theory, I like both of those things. Show me a documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now and I'm intrigued. But force me to watch Marlon Brando chomp scenery in the actual product, and I'm done. As far as soccer goes, a live 90-minute match kills me. But the sport comes with a backstory more rich and dramatic than a Mexican soap opera, and the rivalries, the soccer culture and the personalities involved are completely intriguing. This makes The Damned United an absolute must-see, both for die-hards and for people who don't quite get it. The film stars the inexplicably attractive Michael Sheen as Brian Clough, who served as manager of England's Leeds United for a very short and tumultuous tenure in the mid-1970s. Clough had been an outspoken critic of the team for years and was in no way a welcome addition to the United. The film deftly explores the real enmity that existed (and still does, in many ways) both between and within teams and gives a rich narrative to the passion that drives those who really do love their footie. The Damned United plays at the Modern, 3200 Darnell St. in Fort Worth, as part of the Magnolia at the Modern Series at 6 and 8 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8.50. Visit themodern.org/magnolia.html.
Fri., Oct. 30, 6 & 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 31, 5 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 1, 2 & 4 p.m., 2009